Issue editors: Martin Hemmert & Ralph Lützeler
Japan: Raum- und Ressourcen-Probleme unter Aspekten von Geopolitik, Anpassungsmaßnahmen und Landesentwicklung [Japan: Problems of Space and Resources with Regard to Geopolitics, Adjustment Policies, and Country Development]
Japan is an outstanding example of a country that has achieved rapid economic development in spite of an extreme scarcity of natural resources and limitations of space. The first main part of this article addresses the imperialistic policy and territorial expansion of Japan until 1945 from the viewpoint of geopolitics and geodeterminism. Thereafter, post-war adjustment policies and country development aimed at overcoming natural disadvantages are analyzed. Rejecting the teachings of Haushofer, the famous exponent of prewar German geopolitics, the author concludes that first, the economic success of postwar Japan took place not in spite, but because of the scarcity of space and natural resources by focusing on heavy, resource-intensive, and space-intensive industries. Second, Japanese modernization, country development, and improvement of living standards are not due to spatial conditions but to the ,,human factor". In the final part, some further conclusions are drawn and aspects concerning the scar city of natural resources are discussed: the absurdity of geodeterminism, the acceptance of ecological problems and natural hazards by the Japanese development policy, the importance of a global economic commitment for pan, and postmodernism as a means for solving problems of resource scarcity.
Der Straßengüterverkehr und die Belastung der Umwelt - Probleme und Lösungsansätze in Japan [Freight Road Transport and the Damage to the Environment - Problems and Ways of Solution in Japan]
The article deals with the current situation of freight transport in Japan and its influence on the environment. The author presents an overview of the changes in the structure of freight transport and its impact on the choice and use of the different modes of transport, emphasizing the special features of Japan. The relative and absolute increase in truck transport is examined as well as the resulting increase in environmental damage. Finally, public policy measures aiming at a reduction of the environmental damage are analyzed. These measures range from conventional approaches to new ones reflecting peculiarities of the Japanese situation.
Raumordnungsrecht in Japan [Regional Development Planning and Law Enactment in Japan ]
The article addresses the laws enacted and measures taken by the Japanese government in regional development planning since 1945, as well as the changes in regional development that have taken place in Japan during the last 50 years. It is shown that numerous laws were enacted in order to support a balanced spatial development inside and between the cities and the countryside. In reality, however, regional development in Japan did not keep with the planning concepts - large cities are overpopulated, the fringes of the cities have been subject to uncontrolled urban sprawl, and the rural regions are increasingly depopulated, facilitating the decline of the agricultural sector. Finally, the reasons for the ineffectiveness of Japanese regional planning are analyzed and some prospects of future developments are given.
The article addresses the decline of the traditional rural community in Japan, especially communities based on the cultivation of paddy rice farming. It is argued that the immigration of non-agricultural population, the tendency towards part-time agriculture, the influences of urban space requirements on land prices, and the behavior of the land owners are the main factors contributing to the decline of traditional rural villages which are close to urban centers. Village communities in mountainous and peripheral parts of Japan, on the other hand, are subject to depopulation and the aging of the farming population. The article concludes with a discussion of current policy proposals made in order to revitalize the functions of the Japanese countryside.
The percentage of foreigners as part of the population of Japan has recently increased, thereby creating new patterns in their spatial distribution. The aim of the present article is to look for the underlying determinants of these patterns both at the interprefectural level and the intermunicipal level inside Tōkyō Prefecture. By using both cluster analysis and multiple regression analysis it is demonstrated that there are distinct regional concentrations of foreigners and that, even on an inter-urban scale, these concentrations are predominantly caused by proximity of work places as well as general socio-economic factors. Ethnic discrimination, on the other hand, is not a decisive factor. With regard to specific ethnic groups, segregation from the Japanese population varies with the degree of these groups' social homogeneity: the residential location patterns of expatriate Europeans or North Americans, nearly all holding a high social status, are very different from those of the Japanese, whereas other nationalities like the Chinese or the Filipinos, for example, display a much lower segregation level either because of group heterogeneity or higher work place dispersion. In general, however, segregation levels are rather low and caused by purely socio-economic factors, thereby resembling much more the situation of Gastarbeiter minorities in Central Europe than the ethnic ghettoes of North American cities. The article concludes with the suggestion that the extreme vigour of land-use changes in Japanese cities as well as the growing dispersal of work places needing foreign labour will prevent high segregation levels in Japan in the future.
The article describes the structure and the regional distribution of dominant types of society once prevalent in Japan. It is argued that at least five types of traditional society can be distinguished:
1) the dōzoku-type of Northeastern Japan which is characterized by strong vertical ties inside an extended family;
2) the oyakata-kokata-type of Hokuriku, Tōsan, and San'in, which is characterized by a fictitious parenthood system;
3) an age grade type mostly found in southwestern fishing villages;
4) the miyaza-type of the Kansai area which is centred on Shintō rites controlled by the village elders; and
5) a type with loose ties between village inhabitants, typical of the southern Izu and Amami islands. Special emphasis is placed on the conclusion that although most features of these traditional types of society may have disappeared, their influence is still felt in many aspects of modern Japanese society.
Influenced by dialect-geographical studies and established as a part of linguistics in the second half of the last century through the pioneering works of European linguists, research on Japanese dialects as well as their geographical distribution became very popular in Japan. The article begins with a comparison of different dialect division development models by researchers like Tōjō Misao or Hirayama Teruo. Special emphasis is laid on the problem of determining the exact border between Western and Eastern Japanese dialects.
Thereafter, certain morphological, lexicographical, and phonological elements by which the dialects can be distinguished are pointed out. It is shown that Japanese dialects, like dialects in other languages, conserve many elements of the standard language of former centuries. With regard to the process of spatial diffusion, it is suggested that most linguistic elements dispersed concentrically from the center to the periphery. Orographical barriers like the Japanese alps and feudal political borders may have modified this process, contributing to the formation of a language border between Western and Eastern Japan.
Zwischen verlorener Heimat und Betonwüste - Großstadt darstellungen in japanischen Filmen der achtziger und neunziger Jahre [City Images in Japanese Films of the 1980s und 1990s]
The article addresses the depiction of cities in Japanese films made during the 1980s and 1990s which deal with contemporary subjects. It analyzes how cities are represented and how they function in these films.
The study comes to three conclusions: First, city images are used to express the negative parts of life and the depressed spirits of the people. This is in contrast to the depiction of the countryside, which is portrayed as rural spaces embodying the positive nature of life and the people. Second, city images are used as metaphors which express the condition of aimless, human souls. Protagonists walk through the cities without any orientation. This is reflected through the use of skyscrapers and monotonous streets. Third, Japanese comedies often use stereotypes of the city. Their humor is based on the viewers' understanding of these stereotypes.
In order to verify the contradictory views on the recent technological performance of Japan, the article analyzes several input- as well as output-oriented quantitative indicators in the field of research and development (R&D). The proportion of GNP used for R&D-activities has been steadily rising since the 1970s, resulting in a level of R&D-intensity comparable with other leading industrial countries like the U. S. and Germany. The same statement applies to the proportion of R&D-personnel to the whole population. The investment in basic research, however, is still significantly lower than in large Western industrialized economies. A main reason for this structural feature is the high proportion of R&D performed and financed by the private sector.
Concerning the output-oriented indicators, the results of the input-oriented analysis are largely confirmed. The international share of scientific publications and citations by Japanese researchers has been steadily rising for the last 20 years. Moreover, the number of patent applications submitted by Japanese companies is by international standards very high. Regarding the technological balance of trade, Japan still maintains a considerable deficit. This is largely due, however, to technology imports in the postwar decades. A look at the markets for some hightech-products shows that Japanese companies have a strong international stance in some of these fields. As a whole, it is concluded that Japan has caught up technologically with the leading Western economies, although there remain some partial weaknesses.
Japan has undeniably played an important role in the industrial development of the Republic of Korea in terms of providing much of the needed capital and technology. The article analyzes the evolution of Japanese direct investment (FDI) and other forms of technology transfer since the normalization of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1965, focussing in particular on the period since 1986. Following an outline of the general flow of Japanese FDI to South Korea, the changing environment in which Japanese corporations have to operate is discussed in terms of macroeconomic factors and prevailing policies vis-a-vis foreign capital. On the micro-level, the specific problems encountered by Japanese firms are highlighted. After examining the reactions of Japanese companies to these changes and problems, the prospects for technology transfer from Japan to South Korea are assessed, and some directions for future research are proposed.
Entwicklungspolitische Nicht-Regierungsorganisationen in Japan - eine alternative politische Bewegung? [Japanese Non-Governmental Organizations Active in International Cooperation - An Alternative Political Movement?]
Hitherto, little detailed research on Japanese non-governmental organizations (NGOs) has been carried out neither in Japanese nor in Western academic disciplines. This article is based on the interim results of a comprehensive study on about 500 NGOs in Japan, which are respectively active within the fields of international cooperation and development aid.
As far as their history and present situation, activities or internal organizational structures are concerned, the research on NGOs currently depicts a rather wide and complex diversity. Moreover, at present they represent a large proportion of citizen-initiated organizations outside the established political system. However, despite their growing number and various activities, they can hardly be seen to have any political impact. The large majority of these organizations seems to exert neither direct nor indirect influence on political decisions related to the offical international cooperation of Japan. This can be attributed partly to the structure of the organizations themselves - particularly the motivation of most of their activists or active members, who are mainly interested in creating some kind of meaningful leisure activity through their voluntary actions rather than in any true political involvement. Also, the actual possibilities for NGOs to participate in political decision-making inside the established political structures are very limited. In consideration of these facts, the majority of Japanese NGOs can hardly be regarded as a significant political movement.
Werner Pascha, Katrin Haaf
Slogans als Instrument der japanischen Unternehmens- und Wirtschaftspolitik [Slogans as an Instrument of Corporate and Economic Policy in Japan]
The article deals with the role of slogans in Japanese firms and in economic policy. After defining slogans and distinguishing them from keywords, the usage of slogans is traced in history, in current business, and in political economy. It is tentatively concluded that slogans are generally meant to create loyality, not for altruistic reasons, but for the egoistic motives of the promoters. Slogans do work to some extent because in the Japanese context open criticism is rare. They may serve the public good because actors can compete through these long-term concepts, without attacking each other face to face.
Buddhismus und Nationalismus: Anmerkungen zur historiographischen Relevanz der Auseinandersetzung mit dem nationalistischen Diskurs des Bakumatsu-Buddhismus [Buddhism and Nationalism: Some Remarks on the Historiographical Relevance of a Discussion of Bud
Western historiography on Japanese religion seems to have adopted a rather myopic view of Tokugawa-Buddhism as existing in a state of deep decline. This stance has been widely accepted by Western scholars, and has found some quite influential spokesmen even among modern Japanese researchers. Whereas in Japan there have always been some historians critical of this established view, in the West the historical adequacy, analytical depth and scientific yield of such a characterization has been questioned only recently. This is all the more important, since the established view has led to an unfortunate disregard of important developments and figures in the history of Tokugawa-Buddhism proper, as well as to some rather questionable presentations of certain sectors of Meiji-Buddhist history.
The article analyzes the historiographical relevance of a discussion of the Buddhist-nationalistic discourse in Bakumatsu Japan by presenting the politically highly influential priest Shimaji Mokurai - well-known for his acclaimed role as an enlightened and liberal spokesman for the ,,separation of politics and religion" and "religious freedom" in early Meiji - as a reactionary intellectual heir to the far less known priest Gesshō. Gesshō was one of the most radical supporters of the ,,revere the Emperor and expel the barbarians" and ,,overthrow the bakufu" movements. He was not only in close contact with Yoshida Shōin, but figured himself most prominently in shaping his sect's general stance towards the Emperor and the Japanese nation at large. To illustrate the kind of xenophobic and nationalistic discourse Gesshō made use of, the article offers passages of his Buppō gokoku-ron in translation. It is argued that Buddhist figures like Shimaji Mokurai should not be thought of as enlightened and liberal reformers without considering the impact that men like Gesshō certainly had on their discourses.
Das ,,List-ige" Japan - Stoff für eine unendliche Geschichte?
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